Traditional Versus Alternative Medicine

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Traditional Medicine has its roots at least 80 000 years ago and has its scripture in the Hindu Shastras. This form of medicine includes herbal solutions to cure or prevent a variety of diseases however traditional medicine is more targeted than modern medicine. Alternative medicine is accepted to be medical practices which are untested and lack biological plausibility. The most effective medicine from these two is traditional medicine due to its contributions to modern medicine as well as its biological plausibility. Traditional Medicine is also testable, so scientists can identify compounds in the solution which perform certain tasks such as attacking an infection.

There are plenty of cases where traditional medicines have been proven to be effective at preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s or memory loss. This herb native to dry regions in India known as Ashwagandha provides a further range of health benefits from arthritis to fighting depression or high blood pressure as well as some cancers. Research at Newcastle University found that this herb inhibits the formation of plaques which are toxic to brain cells which accumulate in the brain of people who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. (Newcastle University, 2011) The alternative medicine from 2013 known as ginkgo Biloba which were used by alternative medicine practitioners as they say they have found a way to treat Alzheimer’s and enhance memory. This is not true as studies conducted by multiple universities in conjunction with one another shows that after giving patients in a large group either a placebo or the Ginkgo medicine the decline in memory loss and healing compounds in the body remained the same for both (Offit, 2013). Therefore traditional medicine is more effective if it is taken in prescribed doses in conjunction with the correct secondary ingredients.

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There are traditional medicines which can perform tasks that alternative medical practices are not able to do. Ginger has been used for over thousands of years to treat various symptoms such as vomiting, pain and cold/flu symptoms as it contains vital compounds such as iron (Fe), Magnesium (Mg) and vitamin C and ginger has been shown to have anti-inflammatory abilities. This information has been accumulated through several experiments where the effects of the compounds are analysed. While many believe alternative medication to provide suitable relief in such areas of illness. The issue with this is that there is no scientific proof for such claims. Alternative therapies are known to not be tested for efficacy before being sold on the market as they were around before strict drug regulation policies were put in place. (Ernst, 2017). People forget that the most effective scientifically proven drugs came from traditional medicine. (P., 2019). The most significant is Ginseng Decoction from ancient Chinese medicine which was used to treat ulcer or haemorrhage. This led to a synthesised version used in hospitals when patients experience Haemorrhagic or cardiogenic shock. (Dong, 2013)

Traditional medicine has not only contributed the most to scientifically proven medication but also it has proven more effective than alternative medicine/therapies. Major scientific institutions regard traditional medicine as vital to the success of the first effective western medications. Traditional medicine continues to unlock secrets to healing the body and aids scientists and historians on understanding why our ancestors used such herbs as medication. 


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